Broadway Bill

Broadway Bill

Director: Frank Capra

Cast: Frank Capra, Warner Baxter, Myrna Loy, Walter Connolly

     
 

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Just after completing It Happened One Night, director Frank Capra churned out a bread-and-butter picture titled Broadway Bill. Warner Baxter plays the carefree scion of a wealthy, highly-respected family. Baxter's cold but socially correct wife Helen Vinson forces her husband into the family business, but Baxter would rather spend his time at the…  See more details below

Overview

Just after completing It Happened One Night, director Frank Capra churned out a bread-and-butter picture titled Broadway Bill. Warner Baxter plays the carefree scion of a wealthy, highly-respected family. Baxter's cold but socially correct wife Helen Vinson forces her husband into the family business, but Baxter would rather spend his time at the racetrack. He buys a nag named Broadway Bill and tries to build the horse into a winner--if he doesn't bankrupt himself first. Only Baxter's sister-in-law Myrna Loy and black stable hand Clarence Muse have faith in Broadway Bill. The horse wins a crucial race, but dies suddenly at the finish line. Baxter is comforted and given encouragement by Loy, who is now his sweetheart, Vinson having long since washed her hands of her "irresponsible" husband. Broadway Bill was remade by Capra as Riding High (1950), utilizing generous portions of stock footage and even going so far as to rehire several of the original film's cast members (Douglass Dumbrille, Clarence Muse, Charles Lane, Raymond Walburn, Margaret Hamilton, Frankie Darro) to recreate their roles and match up their scenes from the earlier production. Long withheld from distribution due to Riding High, Broadway Bill was made available for videocassette in the mid-1980s. Keep an eye out for Lucille Ball as a blonde telephone operator and Alan Hale Sr. as a racetrack announcer.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Bruce Eder
Frank Capra's Broadway Bill (1934) is almost too much movie for its own good. Made in the wake of It Happened One Night, it features virtually the same supporting cast and bit players, so much so that, while watching it, one gets the feeling that they've run off camera and simply switched costumes. The movie is a full cinematic meal at 102 minutes, with perhaps one or two too many digressions in plot and at least a partial layer too many characters, between the family disputes, the marital woes, the presence of the criminal element, and the sentimentality of the story. It's about a man who loves horses, and the horse that sacrifices everything out of devotion to him (be warned, the climactic race will bring tears to the eyes of any animal lover); but it's also about mismatched couples, social inequity, and the idle rich, and a lot else having to do with life in 1934 including American optimism -- in some respects, the film almost anticipates the real-life story (or, at least, the early life story) of Seabiscuit. Capra pulls it all together better than probably any director this side of William Wyler could have, and he does it with some surprisingly deft touches in the individual scenes getting a very physical performance out of Warner Baxter, a deeply passionate one from Myrna Loy, and some serious help from Walter Connolly and Clarence Muse. It doesn't quite all fit together, but it is a very ambitious and effective comedy drama with some memorable scenes and moments throughout and a wonderfully upbeat finale with an unexpected twist.

Product Details

Release Date:
04/22/2014
UPC:
0888574012236
Original Release:
1934
Rating:
NR
Source:
Warner Archives
Presentation:
[Full Frame]
Time:
1:42:00
Sales rank:
51,209

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Warner Baxter Dan Brooks
Myrna Loy Alice Higgins
Walter Connolly J.L. Higgins
Helen Vinson Margaret Brooks
Douglas Dumbrille Eddie Morgan
Raymond Walburn Colonel Pettigrew
Lynne Overman Happy McGuire
Clarence Muse Whitey
Margaret Hamilton Edna
Frankie Darro Ted Williams
Inez Courtney Mae, nurse
Dennis O'Keefe Actor
Lucille Ball Bit Part
Robert Allen Reporter
Irving Bacon Hotdog stand owner
Herman Bing Waiter
James "Doc" Blakely Interne
Clara Blandick Mrs. Peterson, secretary
Stanley Blystone Jailer
Ward Bond Morgan's henchman
Edmund Breese Presiding judge
George Cooper Joe
Helen Flint Mrs. Early
Bess Flowers Secretary
Gladys Gale Head nurse
Kit Guard Cab driver
Forrester Harvey Horse trainer
Paul Harvey James Whitehall
Frank Holliday Deputy sheriff
Harry Holman Rube
Edward Keane Headwaiter
George Meeker Henry Early
Charles B. Middleton Veterinarian
Helene Millard Mrs. Winslow
Tom Ricketts Johnson, the butler
Jason Robards Arthur Winslow
Ky Robinson Deputy sheriff
Harry Semels Conductor
Joan Standing Secretary
William Strauss Pawnbroker
Harry Todd Pop Jones
Charles Wilson Collins
Ernie S. Adams Patient
Harry C. Bradley Bookkeeper
Eddy Chandler Onlooker
Claude Gillingwater J.P. Chase
Alan Hale Orchestra leader
John Ince Mayor
Charles Lane Morgan's henchman

Technical Credits
Frank Capra Director
Edward Bernds Sound/Sound Designer
Harry Cohn Producer
C.C. Coleman Asst. Director
Gene Havlick Editor
Mark Hellinger Original Story
Robert Riskin Screenwriter
Joseph Walker Cinematographer

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